Item description for Through the Eye of a Needle by Carol Harper...
It all starts with a question. A rich young man once approached Jesus Christ with the question, ?Good master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life Every so often, a book comes along that allows us entry into the forbidden. Carol Harper's candid recollection of her years as devout Mormon turned born-again Christian boldly strips away the excess baggage of Mormonism and today's mainstream Christianity for the simple, direct teachings of Jesus Christ. If you?re feeling a little confused about the sheer complexity of organized religion these days, you are not alone. This book is positioned to be the new go-to standard for anyone considering an exit from a religion such as Mormonism or a general ?lightening up? of today's legalistic Christianity.
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Reviews - What do customers think about Through the Eye of a Needle?
3.5 Stars...One Step Forward Dec 19, 2009
I met Carol Harper after attending a Christmas program at a local church, and during our discussion found out she was once part of the Church of Latter-day Saints (LDS). She explained that she had written a book about her freedom from that religion's deceptions, and I thought it would be interesting to read her account. She is a warm, talented, and friendly person, and I enjoyed sharing a cup of coffee with her--proof alone that she is no longer a devout Mormon.
The book, to my pleasant surprise, is well-written and nicely laid out, coming from a smaller publisher. It is not so much an unveiling of Mormonism's faults for Christians, as it is a call to Mormons to lay down their burdens of religion and discover the real Jesus. Harper's freelance writing background shines through as she peels back the layers of her Mormon background and subsequent journey into Christianity. Although I had hoped for more specifics of her growing up in LDS, she takes the high road and veers away from bitter critique. The narrative reads quickly, and I followed along, agreeing with many of her insights about the way even mainstream Christianity has become legalistic, moving away from the love and grace that Jesus preached. She encourages churches to spend their money on taking care of the poor, rather than building edifices and programs to support their own agendas. Wholeheartedly agreed.
Then, to my greater surprise, the book seemed to take a turn in the final fifty pages that was only hinted at in earlier sections. Here, Harper calls the Old Testament the "Jewish book," and Acts through Revelation the "Catholic book." She encourages us to know Jesus and the truth of Him as found only in the Gospels. In talking with her personally, I understand that she wants to give a building block of Christ alone, especially for those who have been burned by religion and by the twisting of the Bible. Yes, even Satan twisted the Scriptures to his own purpose, and so she wants those following her path out of Mormonism to focus on a relationship with the real Jesus.
To know this Jesus, though, it's important to understand the Trinity. God the Father of the Old Testament is necessary for us to fully understand Jesus in the Gospels, and, later, the Holy Spirit in Acts and the Epistles. Jesus Himself said that the Scriptures spoke of Him (the Scriptures, at that time, being what Christians now call the Old Testament). The ironic thing is that in the very next section of her book, Harper asks us to look at what Jesus said and no one else, but chooses a section out of the Gospel of Mark in which Jesus is quoting directly out of the Old Testament.
I do believe Carol Harper loves the Jesus of the Gospels, and I suspect that her apparent rejection of portions of Bible is really only a desire to start with the true Word, Jesus Himself. She points out that many mainstream Christian churches rarely mention Jesus in a sermon or service, and she calls all true believers back to that foundational relationship. Without Christ, Christianity is just another set of rules, rituals, and regulations. Jesus is the key to it all, and our religious diversions only lead to strife and contention.
In breaking free from the deceptions of the Book of Mormon, Harper has focused on the foundational truth, love, and grace of Jesus. But deeper knowledge of Him does include the Godhead, the Trinity, the full scope of mankind's Fall and repeated failings that led to the sacrifice of the only pure Lamb for our sin. We are now given His Spirit as a gift and as a comforter until He returns. Yes, loving Jesus is everything she says it is--and so much more! I join with her in saying break free from religion, whether it be Mormonism or legalism masquerading as Christianity. Jesus is present in Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation. And this book is one step forward in that journey of discovery.